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It’s official! December 27, 2007 marked my third month living in Bali. The past 3 months are all about ups and downs… Personals of course, otherwise I wouldn’t blather about it on my blog.

There’s a saying in Bahasa “Dekat bau tahi (tai), jauh harum bunga” literally translated to English “Shit smell (from) nearby, flower scent (from) afar”. An unreliable source, well.. My nanny once told me this saying and claimed that Tionghoa Indonesia was the batch who came up first with that saying (mais bien sûr, Chinese would claim that they’re the first inventor of most things except for Pyramids, coz they can’t stand pointy things…French could. BWAHAH!). Arguably, she said that Chinese siblings are quarrelsome but they couldn’t bear not to be.

Chinese traders came to Malacca (then crossing to Nusantara) and developed poetic sensibility. The more they miss their homeland and their family, the more poetic they get. Indeed, Chinese has developed iron clad family affair, way ahead Cosa Nostra. I believe Chinese did start the method of family business, elusively at first.

Anyway, the saying describes relationships between siblings. I assume most of us who has siblings could understand what siblings’ rivalry is, yet once you’re apart from each other you’d miss them. Miss all the arguments, the “he said, she said”s, tiny pranks, and tiny apology letters.

I wish to paraphrase previous paragraph. I understand what siblings’ rivalry is, yet once I’m apart from my brother I’d miss him. I miss all the arguments, the “he said, she said”s, tiny pranks and tiny apology letters.

Learning to not see my brother and annoyed him with all my personality kinks and mood swings on the daily basis is the toughest lesson in the past 3 months. Getting through Christmas without ‘destroying’ the kitchen together with Wes is also something I consider as ‘ruff grub’. Well I got through Christmas in vain, I might want to sleep myself through NYE. Oink!

Before my departure to Bali, I always thought that I’d miss my home bitch the most (yep.. I could be a real bugger sometimes), but nope apparently I miss Wes more. *Grin* There! I said it, now hand Mr. Benji over! Don’t try to be funny using Western Union just because it has W-E-S before ‘t’.

Second toughest thing is to pack and unpack. Finding a place to live or ‘nest hunting’ (no kinky notion) as I called it is and probably will forever be the toughest job (for me) to do.

I love traveling and always excited packing my stuff for adventure, but boy moving out and settling in is a whole different story!

There’s a silver lining dans ma vie Balinaise! A new place to live and I get to live there with my BFF! Actually there are two silver linings.

Now I live in a Kost near Sunset Road with my BFF Ms. Big Baby.

Yes, yes… We call each other names. My BFF Ingrid is Ms. Big Baby while I’m Ms. Bigger Baby. Why and how we ended up with those names? To be honest, I just made it up. They are new nicknames. I tossed a virtual coin to decide which one of us becomes which.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll tell Ingrid (I promise I will) that the virtual coin decided that she’s Ms. Big Baby and I’m Ms. Bigger Baby. The virtual coin has invested us the power to be and call each other with those nicknames.

Ms. Big Baby wakes up everyday at 6, but she never calls herself a morning person. In normal mornings, she wakes up mute. She doesn’t respond verbally to anyone before she has her “Fuck! I can’t believe it’s already 6. I have to get up and get ready for work” shower.

I have a bizarre sense of humor (and self-portrayal) and loving it. So don’t try to decrypt me!

Now more about our new Kost. The best feature is that the landlord has only two bedrooms to rent. One for Ms. Big Baby the other for Ms. Bigger Baby.

The house comes with a surrogate granddad. We called him ‘Kakek’ (duh!) or Karino-san.

Kakek is a retired real estate developer. One day he decided that he had enough with Japan, so he went to Bali and never left it.

He likes to ‘kongkow’ (stay and chat) with the neighbors. Other thing he likes is to exchange meals with them. Yakimeshi or Yakitori (our neighbours said that those are his specialties) with Ayam Betutu or other plats typiques Balinais.

He seems to prefer a dull life in Bali surrounded by neighbors and their extended family who’s more than please to chat and kid around with him than life in back in Japan.

Ms. Big Baby knows a thing or two about Japanese (and getting better by the day). So she’s able to chat with Karino-san. Meanwhile my Japanese is super special… I use gestures, drawings. When it comes to speak in Japanese, I’m as good as a gibbon clinging on a bananeira reaching for toilet paper.

This December, I officially wrapped my 3-months probation with the agence de dépêche italien. January I will start working under new contract.

I work as assistant journalist to an Italian journalist (go ahead and guess what his nationality is). The bureau where I work is a hive for two journalists and two assistants.

Ms. Bigger Baby has a nice colleague named Carla Bley. Not Carla Bley THE songstress, in fact she sings a bit pitchy sometimes and I know she loves it. I mean… she loves singing.

Carla’s dad loves Carla Bley the songstress and decided to name his first-born.

Ms. Big Baby and Ms. Bigger Baby live 20 minutes from where each of them works, neither of them knows how to ride motorcycle.

Thanks to our new big brother/neighbour, Bli Komang, both of us managed to arrive at work a punto.

At our ‘welcome to the new nest’ get together dinner, we discovered that there are five guests named Komang, imagine the confusion.

Wayan, Komang, Made, Ketut, Putu. Those are the most common Balinese names. Like caste systems, those names also represent ranks. I still vaguely understand about caste system and Balinese names. Until now I only understand that most of Balinese names are androgynous.

Our kind big brother Bli (means older brother in Balinese) Komang drives us to work and pick us up in the evening. Same thing that I do daily back in Jakarta, subtract Bli Komang, add Papa Richard. Some things aren’t meant to change.

I love Bali. Bali is and forever will be an adventure in disguise, a romance. Here I can’t and won’t deny my childlike enthusiasm. I do miss lots of things in Jakarta and Jakarta, but there are new things that really rock my boat.

Rice fields view on my way to work, real neighbours (who actually talk), and most importantly… no waking up on odd hours to Mosque’s megaphones.

Although the weather has been no less than dreadful these past several days (I even experienced my very first TWISTER tonight), for the people who work on the water crest and rice fields near our house, tomorrow (rain or shine) is just another day.

It really makes my day that despite weather flux people actually still return smiles.

Oh! One more good thing… They don’t caste stones to street dogs! Que paraÍso!

12.29.2007

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